The company announced earlier this year that it would start publishing "AI-assisted content," according to CEO Jonah Peretti, who promised that the tech would be held to a high standard. (Related: AI chatbot GPT-4 TRICKED a person into solving captcha by pretending to be human.)
"I think that there are two paths for AI in digital media," said Peretti. "One path is the obvious path that a lot of people will do – but it's a depressing path – using the technology for cost savings and spamming out a bunch of SEO [search engine optimized] articles that are lower quality than what a journalist could do, but a tenth of the cost."
The first AI-generated content BuzzFeed published were a series of ad-lib quizzes that turned user input into customized responses.
Despite Peretti's claims to the contrary, it does appear that BuzzFeed's first foray into AI-written articles has generated only SEO-bait articles that the CEO derided as only being fit for "content farms."
As of press time, BuzzFeed's "Buzzy" AI tool has published 44 posts covering destinations in Morocco, Sweden, the Caribbean, Nepal and even some in the United States. They appear to be fully SEO-driven travel guides that Noor Al-Sibai and Jon Christian of Futurism described as "comically bland and similar to one another." At least seven of the articles feature almost-coped opening lines:
Futurism noted that almost every article written by "Buzzy" uses the phrase "hidden gem," such as Alemia Island, Florida, a "hidden gem of beaches," Carmel-By-The-Sea, California, a "hidden gem of California's coast and West Virginia, which is a "hidden gem of a state."
A spokesperson for BuzzFeed said the AI-generated articles are merely part of an "experiment" that the company did to see how well its AI writing assistance tech functions.
"We're continuing to experiment with AI to 'enhance human creativity' and are trying new formats that allow anyone (with or without a formal background in writing or content creation) to contribute their ideas and unique perspectives on our site," said the spokesperson.
"This new creative tool enables a collaborative writing process in partnership with AI and a human editor to unlock the creative potential of UGC [user-generated content] so we can broaden the range of ideas and perspectives that we publish. As we iterate, future formats will continue to have built-in ways for humans to be in the loop as co-collaborators and editors."
Learn more about the expansion of AI into the workforce at Robotics.news.
Watch this episode of "The Paul McGuire Report" as host Paul McGuire discusses how Big Tech companies are using open-ended AI technology to collect private data from people, changing their lives for the worse.